Human remains were discovered Tuesday near the Vermillion River in Hastings.

Shortly before 5 p.m., a passerby found the skeletal remains along the banks of the river in the southeast part of the city, said Dakota County Chief Deputy Tim Leslie. Clothing was also found nearby, Leslie said.

The remains have "been there awhile," Leslie said. But exactly how long they were there and the gender and name of the deceased have yet to be determined.

Hastings Police Chief Paul Schnell said the remains could be those of a woman who jumped off Vermillion Falls in July 2011. Despite days of searching, her body was not found, Schnell said.

The Sheriff's Office is working with the Hennepin County medical examiner to identify the person and determine the events that led up to the discovery of the remains.

"We're hopeful that by tomorrow we'll have an idea of what we're looking for," Leslie said.